Tech company Open Utility has released the findings of its six‐month trial of Piclo – Britain’s first online peer‐to‐peer marketplace for renewable energy which, for the first time in the UK, allows consumers and generators to buy and sell renewable energy directly.
Findings from the six‐ month trial indicate that local markets are the future of a decentralised energy economy and that significant savings can be achieved by making grid charges fairer through local matching ‐ if Piclo is widely adopted alongside.
The Piclo trial was a collaboration between energy start-up Open Utility and green energy provider Good Energy with funding from leading tech for good investor Nominet Trust and The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund scheme run by The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
As well as Cardiff council, the trial generator participants included community energy groups, private developers and family‐owned and charity sites.
It gives consumers and generators the tools and data needed to allow them complete choice and control, whilst also providing electricity retailers groundbreaking insights into their customers purchasing decisions.
Piclo takes in all the price and preference information and matches electricity demand and supply every half an hour. Energy provider Good Energy helped ensure that the marketplace is always balanced, purchasing surplus power, or providing 100% renewable top‐up when required.
James Johnston, Chief Executive, Open Utility, said: “We believe peer‐to‐peer local energy matching could unlock billions of pounds of additional revenue for renewable generation technologies in Great Britain and overseas, heralding an age of decentralised and clean electricity.
“We are now in a perfect position to maximise the benefit from the smart meter roll-out to 30 million households and businesses across Wales, Scotland and England by the end of 2020 alongside the recognition by OFGEM that it is in consumers’ interests for bills to be settled against half‐hourly consumption data.”
Juliet Davenport, Chief Executive, Good Energy, said: “The Piclo pilot has provided a glimpse of what a future powered purely by renewables could look like, with everything from rooftop solar to community wind turbines playing a role”.
Meanwhile, Wales-based renewables developer Dulas has partnered with Italian energy efficiency business, Innovatec, to provide energy management services for high energy users to assist with the move towards demand reduction and onsite renewable energy generation.
The joint venture, known as the Intelligent Energy Management Service will enable business in energy intensive industries to employ cost-saving energy efficiency methods to create a new demand side profile. Only when this profile is fully understood will renewable energy options be considered and deployed.
By introducing this integrated approach, the service will, for the first time, provide businesses with an intelligent and adaptive system that enables them to predict long-term power use, and subsequently de-risk a large percentage of future energy costs.
Alistair Marsden, Sales Director, Dulas, explained: “As much of Europe moves into a post-subsidy landscape, we have to look at new ways of delivering renewable energy projects that provide value for their end users.”